Kati Wilhelm

Kati Wilhelm (German pronunciation: [ˈkaːti ˈvɪlhɛlm] (audio speaker iconlisten); born 2 August 1976 in Schmalkalden) is a German former professional biathlete. Like most German biathletes she is also a member of the German Armed Forces (Bundeswehr) with the rank of master sergeant (Hauptfeldwebel). She currently resides in Steinbach-Hallenberg, also in the Federal State of Thuringia.

Kati Wilhelm
2018-12-13 Pressekonferenz zur Vorbereitung des Biathlon-Weltcups und der Umbenennung der Ski-Arena StP 7404 LR10 by Stepro.jpg
Wilhelm in December 2018
Medal record
Women's biathlon
Representing  Germany
Olympic Games
Gold medal – first place 2002 Salt Lake City 7.5 km sprint
Gold medal – first place 2002 Salt Lake City 4 × 7.5 km relay
Gold medal – first place 2006 Turin 10 km pursuit
Silver medal – second place 2002 Salt Lake City 10 km pursuit
Silver medal – second place 2006 Turin 12.5 km mass start
Silver medal – second place 2006 Turin 4 × 6 km relay
Bronze medal – third place 2010 Vancouver 4 × 6 km relay
World Championships
Gold medal – first place 2001 Pokljuka 7.5 km sprint
Gold medal – first place 2007 Antholz-Anterselva 4 × 6 km relay
Gold medal – first place 2008 Östersund 4 × 6 km relay
Gold medal – first place 2009 Pyeongchang 15 km individual
Gold medal – first place 2009 Pyeongchang 7.5 km sprint
Silver medal – second place 2001 Pokljuka 4 × 7.5 km relay
Silver medal – second place 2005 Hochfilzen 4 × 6 km relay
Silver medal – second place 2009 Pyeongchang 10 km pursuit
Silver medal – second place 2009 Pyeongchang 4 × 6 km relay
Bronze medal – third place 2003 Khanty-Mansiysk 4 × 6 km relay
Bronze medal – third place 2004 Oberhof 4 × 6 km relay
Bronze medal – third place 2005 Khanty-Mansiysk Mixed relay
Bronze medal – third place 2007 Antholz-Anterselva 12.5 km mass start

CareerEdit

Wilhelm was born in Schmalkalden, then East Germany (now in the Federal State of Thuringia, Germany). She started training cross-country skiing as a child in 1983 and was a member of the German cross-country ski team at the 1998 Nagano Olympic Games. In 1999, while attending the Military World Games, she came into contact with biathlon and was hooked on the sport. Her decision to switch to biathlon proved to be a good one. The next year she experienced her first successes including a World Cup victory. During the Salt Lake City Olympic Games in, she was the most decorated female biathlete, winning gold medals in the 7.5 km sprint and the 4 × 6 km relay. She also won a silver medal in the 10 km pursuit. After two years of struggling, she finally moved to Ruhpolding, Bavaria in 2004. She regained her strength and placed second in the 2004–05 World Cup season, defeated only by Frenchwoman Sandrine Bailly. At the 2006 Winter Olympics in Turin, she carried the German flag at the opening ceremony. After winning her third Olympic gold medal in the 10 km pursuit as well as silver in the mass start and with the German relay, she became the best female biathlete at the Olympics ever. Moreover, she dominated the 2005–06 World Cup season, winning six races and the overall World Cup trophy. She was elected "biathlete of the year 2006" as well as "German sportswoman of the year 2006". In total she has 21 IBU Biathlon World Cup wins.

In the 2006–07 World Cup season, she finished second for the overall World Cup title behind teammate Andrea Henkel. In the 2008–09 World Cup season, she finished second for the overall World Cup title behind Helena Jonsson, with both biathletes scoring 952 points. Jonsson was awarded the overall title by virtue of her four World Cup victories against Wilhelm's three.

The German media gave her the nickname "Rotkäppchen" (Little Red Riding Hood) because of her characteristic red hair and the red cap she uses in competition. She was able to translate her Olympic victories into multiple endorsement deals, including print and television advertising. Wilhelm announced her retirement from biathlon on 9 March 2010 so that she could focus on her studies. She took part in the International biathlon competition on the "Prize in memory of Vitaly Fatyanov", Kamchatka 2010. The event was held in Kamchatka, Russia on 15–17 April, where Kati came 3rd in Sprint and won a Pursuit race.

In 2004, Wilhelm was a delegate to the Federal Convention for the Social Democrats.

Wilhelm retired as an athlete after the 2009–10 season.[1]

Biathlon achievementsEdit

  • Biathlon World Cup
    • 1 × overall winner (2005–06)
    • 3 × overall runner-up (2004–05, 2006–07, 2008–09)
    • 21 individual victories

Cross-country skiing resultsEdit

All results are sourced from the International Ski Federation (FIS).[2]

Olympic GamesEdit

 Year   Age   5 km   15 km   Pursuit   30 km   4 × 5 km 
 relay 
1998 22 26 32 16 5

World ChampionshipsEdit

 Year   Age   5 km   15 km   Pursuit   30 km   4 × 5 km 
 relay 
1997 21 24 51 6
1999 23 21

World CupEdit

Season standingsEdit

 Season   Age 
Overall Long Distance Sprint
1995 19 NC N/A N/A
1996 20 NC N/A N/A
1997 21 53 49 50
1998 22 41 NC 35
1999 23 34 29 43

See alsoEdit

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ Kokesh, Jerry (21 November 2010). "New-Look German Team Aiming for the Top". Biathlonworld. International Biathlon Union. Archived from the original on 26 December 2014. Retrieved 25 December 2014.
  2. ^ "WILHELM Kati". FIS-Ski. International Ski Federation. Retrieved 4 December 2019.

External linksEdit

Awards
Preceded by German Sportswoman of the Year
2006
Succeeded by